Last week, I gave my first impressions of competitive multiplayer Facebook game Dungeon Overlord, and we had a chat with its creators about the future of the game. League of Legends announced some impressive figures, now boasting over 15 million registered accounts and a peak concurrency of 500,000 players. The big news stories of last week included Heroes of Newerth finally going free-to-play, and the controversial Diablo III cash auction house announcement.
In this week's Not So Massively, everyone seems to have beta-testing fever. Diablo III and FireFall both give us details of how to get involved in their upcoming closed betas, and Realm of the Titans launches its closed beta contests. Rise of Immortals also celebrates its upcoming support of NVidia's 3D Vision technology with a contest to win one of two massive 3D monitor and graphics card packages.
The latest Heroes of Newerth competitive tournament went live this week, pitting a massive 1024 teams against each other in a bid to win a slice of $5,000 US. League of Legends also announced the impending end of Season One and released a champion spotlight on Tryndamere following his massive overhaul. Rise of Immortals would be the first MOBA to offer full support for NVidia's 3D Vision technology. Players with graphics cards that support the technology will soon be able to put on funny looking glasses and pretend they're in the future.
To celebrate the announcement, Petroglyph is giving participants in the RoI open beta the chance to win one of two massive 3D packages. Each package includes a 3D-ready 23 inch monitor, an eVGA GTX 560 graphics card and 3D Vision glasses. To be in with a chance to win, just sign up a free open beta account, play the game at least once and keep an eye on the official RoI facebook page. See the video below for further details.
League of Legends Skarner sneak peek was followed up this week with an Art Spotlight showing the creation of a piece of Skarner concept art from start to finish. This week we also learned that season one will officially come to a close later this month. Players' stats will be archived and reset to put everyone back on an equal footing for the start of season two.
Champion Tryndamere the Barbarian King has recieved some big ability changes recently, altering the way he handles in a game. This week Riot released an updated Champion Spotlight for Tryndamere with details of his new abilities and revisited recommendations on how to play him. Response to the video has been less than positive, with some serious balance concerns being expressed. Check out the official champion spotlight video below and make up your own mind.
Last week we brought you the massive news that Diablo III would feature a controversial cash auction house, allowing players to trade items in the game for real-life cash. Diablo III will be entering closed beta in the coming months, and you can now register your interest in joining it. Head over to your Battle.net beta profile page and sign up. Your internet connection stats and computer specs will be sent to Blizzard, and when they're ready to test with a computer like yours, you may be invited to the beta. Players in Europe may experience problems with the signup process, but a work-around has been found for the issue.
Heroes of Newerth's free-to-play announcement last week, this week things got a little more interesting with word of a massive new sponsored tournament. In the TwitchTV HoN Challenge, 1024 teams will compete in a long knock-out tournament with a total prize pool of $5,000 US. In each of four huge qualifying rounds, the top four teams will be selected from 256 entrants.
The 16 victorious teams will continue on to a series of knock-out finals. The top prize is $2,500 US, with the remaining $2,500 US spread among the second- to eighth-place teams. The first qualifying round is already underway, but there's still plenty of time to register your team for the remaining qualifiers. Head over to TwitchTV for the official contest rules and to sign your team up.
FireFall was in the news again this week as developer Red 5 Studios revealed that the game is scheduled for a December release. Red 5 declines to call the game an MMO, but the official trailer boasts a massive open world with hundreds of players. We'll probably have to wait until beta to get a really close look at the gameplay to make that determination for ourselves.
But that wait for beta may not be as long as we think, as it was also revealed this week that the game is already in a private beta stage, and fans will soon be able to get involved. Rather than releasing beta keys through giveaway events, Red 5 will be using a GMail-style invite system to grow the playerbase in controlled stages. To register your interest in the beta and be in with a chance of getting an invite directly from the game studio itself, head over to the official Firefall website and sign up. If you'd like to see what FireFall is like before registering for the beta, check out the trailer video embedded below.
Join us every Monday for Not So Massively, our roundup of the top news from popular online games that aren't quite MMOs. If you think there's a game we should be covering in Not So Massively or you've found some interesting news you think deserves attention in the next roundup, please mail the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.